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Nutrisystem and WW (Weight Watchers) are two popular weight loss programs.

Both promise to help boost weight loss, but there are many key differences between the two programs.

This article takes a closer look at some of the similarities and differences between Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers to determine which of the two options may be a better choice for you.

NutrisystemWW (Weight Watchers)
Basics• fully prepared meals
• plans with 5–7 days of meals and snacks per week
• points-based weight loss program
• plans vary based on PersonalPoints budget and number of ZeroPoint foods
Menu optionsmore than 150 frozen and non-frozen meals• extensive recipe library
• barcode scanner and database with foods from restaurants
CostBasic: $9.99–$11.64 per day
Uniquely Yours: $12.14–$13.39 per day
Uniquely Yours Max+: $13.57–$16.96 per day
Digital: $9.92 per week for 1-month membership
Workshop + Digital: $15 per week for 1-month membership
Coaching + Digital: $11.08 per week
Effectiveness• claims it can help you lose 18 lbs. (8.2 kg) fast
• can help increase short-term weight loss, according to some research
• claims that members can expect to lose 1–2 lbs. (0.5–1 kg) per week
• may be effective for long-term weight loss, according to some research
Benefits• convenient and easy to follow
• may help improve blood sugar levels
• flexible and sustainable
• promotes other healthy habits
• may help improve blood sugar regulation
Downsides• expensive
• relies on processed foods
• restrictive and may lead to weight regain
• unsuitable for certain dietary restrictions
• doesn’t provide food
• can be time consuming
• offers limited guidance

Here’s what Nutrisystem and WW (Weight Watchers) are all about.


Nutrisystem is a commercial weight loss program that delivers fully prepared meals directly to your door.

Although it’s a 4-week program, you may repeat it multiple times until you reach your desired weight.

The company offers several plans, which vary in price, customization options, and the number of meals.

Plans include:

  • Basic Plan: includes 5 days of customizable breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each week
  • Uniquely Yours: includes 5 days of customizable breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each week, including selection of Standard Variety Restaurant Faves
  • Uniquely Yours Max+: includes 5 or 7 days of customizable breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks per week, including selection of Premium Variety Restaurant Faves and Hearty Inspirations

In addition to the meals and snacks each plan provides, Nutrisystem encourages customers to add two additional healthy snacks each day.

WW (Weight Watchers)

WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, is a weight loss program aimed at promoting healthy eating habits.

The program gives members a daily PersonalPoints budget based on their age, sex, height, and weight.

The company also assigns each food a points-based value, which is based on the calories, sugar, fat, and protein it contains.

It considers certain foods ZeroPoint foods, meaning they do not count toward your daily PersonalPoints budget and you do not need to track them.

ZeroPoint foods are ingredients that are typically high in protein or fiber and low in added sugar, including non-starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes, and dairy products.

When signing up, you can complete an online quiz to determine your PersonalPoints budget and an individualized ZeroPoint foods list tailored to your needs.

No foods are off-limits on WW, but the company encourages customers to track their intake and stay within their daily budget of PersonalPoints.

Here’s a rundown of the different menu items you can expect with Nutrisystem and WW.


Nutrisystem boasts an extensive menu with more than 150 items, including options that are vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, low in sodium, or high in protein or fiber.

The company offers both frozen and nonfrozen dishes with nutritional facts and ingredient lists for each.

With the Basic plan, you can select meals and snacks from the classic menu that arrive ready to eat.

Meanwhile, on the Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Max+ plans, you can select from a variety of premium options, including Restaurant Faves and Hearty Inspirations, depending on the specific plan you select.


Unlike Nutrisystem, WW does not provide any food. Instead, it encourages members to create their own menu using the PersonalPoints system.

The company also has more than 8,000 recipes on its website, which you can easily filter based on the meal type, number of points, and prep time.

Plus, the WW app allows you to scan the barcode of many products at the grocery store for easy PersonalPoints tracking, and you can search through menu items from restaurants. This makes it easy to stay on track while still enjoying your favorite foods.

Here’s how the two services stack up when it comes to cost.


Nutrisystem offers several plans that range in price.

Here are the prices for each plan with monthly auto-delivery:

  • Basic: $9.99 per day for women, $11.64 per day for men
  • Uniquely Yours: $12.14 per day for women, $13.39 per day for men
  • Uniquely Yours Max+: $13.57–$15.71 per day for women, $14.64–$16.96 per day for men

All plans include free shipping, and you can prepay for up to 3 months of meals at a time for additional savings.

However, keep in mind that prices for one-time orders are higher, and plans do not include optional add-ons like protein shakes.

Additionally, note that prices for the Uniquely Yours Max+ plan vary depending on whether you choose to order 5 days or 7 days of meals per week.


WW plans vary in price depending on which options and add-ons you select.

The Digital plan is the cheapest membership option and includes full access to the website and app for $9.92 per week with a 1-month membership.

The Workshop + Digital membership allows you to also connect with a WW coach and other members for weekly group workshops. This costs $15 per week for a 1-month membership.

Finally, the Personal Coaching + Digital plan provides individual support from a WW coach for $11.08 per week.

Keep in mind that discounted rates are available for both the Digital and Workshop + Digital plans if you select a 3-month or 6-month plan instead.

In fact, both plans cost just $5 per month for your first 3 months with either a 3-month or 6-month subscription.

Both systems may help you lose weight, but WW may be better for helping you maintain a lower weight over the long term.


Nutrisystem claims its program can help you get healthy and lose up to 18 pounds (lbs.) (8.2 kg) quickly.

This claim is based on a study that reported that participants on Nutrisystem lost an average of 17.8 lbs. (8 kg) over 12 weeks and significantly more belly fat than those on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (1).

However, it’s important to note that Nutrisystem directly sponsored this study.

Although research is limited, a few other studies have also found that Nutrisystem may be effective for short-term weight loss.

A 2009 study in 69 people with type 2 diabetes found that participants who followed Nutrisystem for 3 months experienced significantly greater weight loss than those who attended a diabetes support and education group (2).

Similarly, a review of 39 studies reported that Nutrisystem participants achieved an average of 3.8% more weight loss after 3 months than those who received education or behavioral counseling (3).

However, further studies are needed to determine whether Nutrisystem is effective for long-term weight loss.


According to WW, members should expect to lose between 1–2 lbs. (0.5–1 kg) per week.

Several large studies support this claim, showing that WW may be effective for weight loss.

For instance, one study in more than 1,200 people found that participants who followed WW for 1 year lost more than twice as much weight as those who received self-help materials and brief nutritional advice (4).

While the WW group did regain some of this weight after 2 years, they still maintained a greater total amount of weight loss than the control group (4).

According to another large review, people who followed WW for 12 months lost 2.6% more weight, on average, than those who received nutritional education (3).

Additionally, because the program encourages other healthy habits, such as regular physical activity, it may be a good option for sustainable, long-lasting weight loss.

The systems also offer a few other perks.


Nutrisystem is convenient and easy to follow, which may make it a good option for those who prefer a more structured eating plan.

It also provides most of your meals and snacks each day, which could be appealing for those with a busy schedule and limited time to spend on meal prep.

What’s more, most Nutrisystem meals have a low glycemic index, which means they’ll have a small effect on your blood sugar levels (5).

While more research is needed, this may help promote better blood sugar regulation (5).

In fact, according to one review of 18 studies, Nutrisystem was more effective at improving blood sugar regulation than nutritional counseling in people with type 2 diabetes over a 6-month period (6).


WW is flexible and easy to follow. Unlike other diet plans, there are no complicated rules. The plan permits all foods, as long as they fit within your daily allotment of PersonalPoints.

Because WW encourages regular physical activity and helps teach you how to make healthier food choices, it may be more sustainable in the long run as well.

Plus, it may also benefit other aspects of health.

One study in 563 people with type 2 diabetes found that participants who followed WW for 1 year experienced greater weight loss, greater reductions in belly fat, and improved blood sugar regulation compared with participants who received standard diabetes counseling (7).

Another study in 225 people with prediabetes showed that those who followed WW for 1 year lost more weight and experienced greater improvements in blood sugar regulation and levels of HDL (good) cholesterol than those in a control group (8).

Nutrisystem and WW may both come with a few drawbacks.


Although Nutrisystem can be a convenient option for weight loss, it’s very expensive and difficult to follow long term.

Additionally, because the plan relies on premade, processed foods rather than sustainable diet and lifestyle changes, anyone following it is likely to regain weight once they resume their normal diet.

Nutrisystem offers only a limited selection for people with certain dietary restrictions. The menu options may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies or people following a vegan or gluten-free diet.

Furthermore, Nutrisystem can be very restrictive, with most plans providing 1,200–1,500 calories per day.

This is much lower than what most adults require to maintain their weight. Even those looking to decrease their calorie intake to lose weight may want to consider that restricting calories too much may slow their metabolism over time, increasing the risk of weight regain (9, 10).


While WW is more affordable than Nutrisystem, it does not include any food. You may also find it somewhat pricey to follow long term.

Additionally, most plans require you to track your intake more carefully to stay on track, which could be time consuming.

Furthermore, the program does not have any strict rules or regulations and allows you to enjoy any food as long as you stay within your daily PersonalPoints budget. Therefore, some people may find the system difficult to follow and may prefer additional guidance.

Here is a closer look at how the companies compare in terms of their customer reviews and reputation.


Nutrisystem is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently holds an A+ rating from the organization. The rating is based on factors such as business practices, consumer complaints, and any known licensing or government actions against the company.

On Trustpilot, the company has an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 2,051 customer reviews.

Many reviewers on Trustpilot report issues with customer service and order quality, difficulty canceling subscriptions, and hidden or unauthorized charges.

In contrast, positive reviews say that some of the food items are tasty and that the program makes it easy and convenient to lose weight and reach your goals.

In the past, Nutrisystem was involved in several lawsuits. In 2019, shareholders in the company filed a lawsuit alleging that financial advisors provided incomplete or misleading information about the company’s performance prior to a merger agreement (11).

In the 1990s, numerous dieters filed lawsuits against Nutrisystem, claiming that the weight loss program caused gallbladder disease. However, because there was no concrete evidence to back up these claims, Nutrisystem won most cases or settled them out of court (12).


Unlike Nutrisystem, WW is not accredited by the BBB and, at the time of publication, has a D- rating.

WW’s score is comparable to Nutrisystem’s on Trustpilot. It also has an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars, though this is based on just 87 customer reviews.

Some reviewers on Trustpilot report issues with the functionality of the app and the responsiveness of customer service.

Many also note that the promotional sign-up offers and free trials that the company advertises can be deceiving and lead to unwanted recurring subscription costs or hidden fees.

On the other hand, favorable reviews state that the program is effective for weight loss and that certain aspects, such as personal coaching and group workshops, can be very helpful.

In 2020, WW was involved in a class action lawsuit, which alleged that the company’s automatic renewal fees violate California law (13).

Even more recently, the Justice Department filed a complaint against WW on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that the company marketed its weight loss program to young children and collected sensitive health data without parental consent (14).

In addition to Nutrisystem and WW, there are several other weight loss programs available, which differ slightly in terms of cost, menu options, and services offered.

NutrisystemWWNoomOptaviaJenny Craig
CostBasic: $9.99–$11.64 per day
Uniquely Yours: $12.14–$13.39 per day
Uniquely Yours Max+: $13.57–$16.96 per day
Digital: $9.92 per week for 1-month membership
Workshop + Digital: $15 per week for 1-month membership
Coaching + Digital: $11.08 per week
$60 per month with 1-month membership$3.02–$3.18 per serving for each kitSimple Meal Plan: $13.99 per day
Essential Meal Plan: $21.99 per day
Max Up Weight Loss Plan: $29 per day
Weight loss claimsclaims to help you lose 18 lbs. (8.2 kg) fastclaims that members can expect to lose 1–2 lbs. (0.5–1 kg) per weekclaims to help you lose 1–2 lbs. (0.5–1 kg) per weekclaims that average weight loss is 1 lb. (0.5 kg) per week on Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Planclaims that members can expect to lose 1–2 lbs. (0.5–1 kg) per week
Services offered• prepared meals and snacks
• personal coaching
• digital app
• personal
• coaching
• group workshops
• digital app
• online support group
• health coach
• prepared meals and snacks
• personal coaching
• prepared meals and snacks
• personal coaching
Menu options150+ prepared meals and snacks• online recipe library
• encourages nutrient-dense foods
• online recipe library
• encourages foods with low calorie density
• soup, drink, and shake mixes
• prepared meals and snacks
100+ prepared meals, snacks, shakes, and desserts
Dietary needs• vegetarian
• diabetes-friendly
can accommodate any dietcan accommodate any dietoffers plans for:
• diabetes
• gout
• people who are nursing
• older adults
low carb diet

Does Nutrisystem reduce belly fat?

Nutrisystem may contribute to weight loss, which could lead to reduced belly fat.

However, the program depends on you using low calorie prepared meals and snacks to promote weight loss rather than making sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle. Therefore, it may not be effective for fat loss in the long run.

Are there any health risks with Nutrisystem or WW?

Many Nutrisystem plans are very restrictive and may not provide enough calories for some people, which could increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies and other adverse effects (15).

Losing weight too quickly — regardless of which diet program you use — can slow your metabolism and increase the risk of certain health issues, including gallstones (10, 16).

For this reason, it’s always best to consult a doctor or dietitian before starting any weight loss program.

If you’re trying to decide between WW and Nutrisystem, consider which one better suits your needs and preferences.

Although Nutrisystem is a bit more expensive, it may be a better option for those looking to lose weight in the short term and save time on cooking and meal prep.

It may also be a better fit for people who prefer a more structured meal plan and want additional guidance on which foods they should eat.

On the other hand, WW offers more flexibility and may be better for people who want to establish healthy eating habits to promote long-term health.

Because WW allows you to dine out and enjoy your favorite foods, it might also be a better choice for people who do not want their diet to interfere with their daily routine.

Nutrisystem and WW are two weight loss programs with several similarities and some key differences.

Nutrisystem delivers fully prepared meals and snacks designed to promote weight loss. It may be a better option for dieters who prefer an eating plan that leaves little room for error.

On the other hand, WW’s point-based system offers more flexibility and gives you more of a say in which foods you fit into your diet.

This way of eating can help you build long-term healthy eating habits, which may help you maintain weight loss in the long term.